@MISC{Straumann08reflectionson, author = {Norbert Straumann}, title = {Reflections on Gravity ∗}, year = {2008} }

Share

OpenURL

Abstract

A pedagogical description of a simple ungeometrical approach to General Relativity is given, which follows the pattern of well understood field theories, such as electrodynamics. This leads quickly to most of the important weak field predictions, as well as to the radiation damping of binary pulsars. Moreover, certain consistency arguments imply that the theory has to be generally invariant, and therefore one is bound to end up with Einstein’s field equations. Although this field theoretic approach, which has been advocated repeatedly by a number of authors, starts with a spin-2 theory on Minkowski spacetime, it turns out in the end that the flat metric is actually unobservable, and that the physical metric is curved and dynamical. Short sections are devoted to tensor-scalar generalizations, the mystery of the vacuum energy density, and quintessence. 1 Introductory Remarks